La. workers’ comp rates decreasing May 1

Rates for workers’ compensation insurance will decrease May 1 in Louisiana.

State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said Friday he approved a 5.1 percent decrease in workers’ compensation loss costs submitted by the National Council on Compensation Insurance.

Most workers’ compensation carriers in Louisiana use the NCCI annual loss cost filing to formulate their insurance rates. NCCI is a national organization that analyzes workers’ compensation data and files loss costs or rates in 35 states.

The total Louisiana workers’ compensation market is estimated to be $900 million in total premiums.

Donelon said improved worker safety leads to fewer workplace injuries and less severe injuries across most employment classes. Those combined are the cause of recent rate reductions.

“The reduction in the cost of workers’ compensation insurance is good news for our state’s business community as businesses continue to struggle, faced with new mandatory health insurance provisions of the Affordable Care Act and with recovery efforts since the national economic recession of 2008,” Donelon said. “Louisiana’s workers’ compensation insurance market is competitive and showing signs of improvement, especially in the area of improved worker safety.”

The top five writers of workers’ compensation insurance in Louisiana in 2012 were Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corp. with a 21.0 percent market share; Liberty Mutual Group, 12.6 percent; LUBA Casualty Insurance Co., 8.8 percent; American International Group, 7.4 percent; and Zurich Group, 7.2 percent.

The 2014 loss cost reduction marks a cumulative drop of 35 percent since 2004, Donelon said.

The most recent reduction in workers’ compensation loss costs was 4.3 percent in 2010.

Prior loss costs reductions include a 17.4 percent decrease in 2009, an 8.6 percent reduction in 2008 and a 15.8 percent reduction in 2007.